(Click for brief bio and photo, or printable summary CV [2 pages] and full CV [13 pages])


 Professor, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy
     and Department of Economics (secondary appointment, by courtesy)
 Tufts University • 
150 Harrison Ave., room 251 • Boston, MA 02111
 Phone: 617.636.3751 •  Email:


Stanford University, PhD (1991) in Applied Economics at the Food Research Institute  
Yale University, BA (1984) in Economics and Political Science
Deep Springs College (1979-81), course credits transferred


Tufts University (July 2010 – present), Friedman School of Nutrition Science and PolicyProfessor (from 7/10) and Chair (7/11-8/14)  for the Department of Food and Nutrition Policy, responsible for academic leadership of multidisciplinary graduate programs involving 18 faculty and about 150 students per year.

Purdue University (December 1991 – June 2010), Department of Agricultural EconomicsAssociate Head (2/07-6/10) and Professor (4/02-6/10), previously Associate Professor (7/96-4/02) and Assistant Professor (12/91-7/96), with increasing responsibilities over graduate and undergraduate programs.

Columbia University (September 2003-August 2004), Visiting Professor, School of International and Public Affairs and Interim Executive Director, Earth Institute Center on Globalization and Sustainable Development. Led a diversified social-science research program of 8 staff and 20 affiliated faculty.

Harvard University (January – December 2000), Kennedy School of Government Visiting Scholar in the Center for International Development

Stanford University (1985-1991), Graduate Fellow, Teaching and Research Assistant in the Food Research Institute

University of Zimbabwe, Harare, Zimbabwe (1988-1990), Research Associate and part-time lecturer, Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension


AAEA Fellow (2020)
AEA Quality of Research Discovery Award (2019)
AAEA Publication of Enduring Quality Award (2014)
AAEA Bruce Gardner Memorial Prize for Applied Policy Analysis (2013)
International Fellow of the African Agricultural Economics Association (2010)

Fulbright Dissertation Research Grant (1988-90); Stanford Graduate Fellowship (1985-88)
Harry S. Truman Scholarship (1981)


Elected member, Tufts University Faculty Senate (2017-20), Secretary (2018-20)
Elected chair, International (2018-19) and Food Safety & Nutrition (2013-14) sections of the AAEA
External member, IFPRI Institutional Review Board, 2015-18
Editorial Board,
Global Food Security, 2014-present
Member, Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems thematic group, UN SDSN, 2013-present
Editor-in-Chief, Agricultural Economics, 2007-2011 (with Gerald Shively)
Board of Trustees, Deep Springs College, 2002-2011 (chair, Academic Affairs ctee.)


Native English, fluent French, some Spanish



Principal investigator or co-PI on over $13 million in grants and projects since 1988, from USAID, the World Bank, DFID, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and other funding agencies.



Norton, G., Alwang J., W.A. Masters, Economics of Agricultural Development (3nd ed. 2014). New York: Routledge. (See review of 1st ed. in ERAE).

Anderson, K. (eds.) and W.A. Masters, Distortions to Agricultural Incentives in Africa (2009). Washington DC: The World Bank.

W.A. Masters Government and Agriculture in Zimbabwe (1994). Westport CT: Praeger.

(italicized coauthors = students at time of writing)   

Wang, J., W.A. MastersY. Bai, D. Mozaffarian, E. Naumova, G.M. Singh , 2020. The International Diet-Health Index: a novel tool to evaluate diet quality for cardiometabolic health across countries. BMJ Global Health 5(7):e002120.

Hirvonen, K., Y. Bai,  D. Headey and W.A. Masters, 2020. Affordability of the EAT–Lancet reference diet: a global analysis. Lancet Global Health 8(1): e59-e66.

Singh, P. and W.A. Masters, 2020. Performance bonuses in the public sector: Winner-take-all prizes versus proportional payments to reduce child malnutrition in India. J. of Dev. Econ., 146:  102295.

Cason, T.N., W.A. Masters, and R.M. Sheremeta, 2020.Winner-take-all and proportional-prize contests: theory and experimental results. J. of Econ. Behavior and Org., 175: 314-327.

Choudhury, S., D. Headey and W.A. Masters, 2019. First Foods: Diet Quality Among Infants Aged 6–23 Months in 42 CountriesFood Policy, 88(Oct.): 101762.

Finaret, A.B. and W.A. Masters, 2019. Beyond calories: The new economics of nutrition. Annual Rev. of Res. Econ., 11: 14.1-23.

Finaret, A.B and W.A. Masters, 2019. Correcting for artifactual correlation between misreported month of birth and attained height-for-age reduces but does not eliminate measured vulnerability to season of birth in poorer countries. Am. J. of Cl. Nutr., 110(2): 485–497.

Larsen, A.F., D.D. Headey and W.A. Masters, 2019. Misreporting month of birth: Diagnosis and implications for research on nutrition and early childhood in developing countries. Demography, 56(2): 707-29.

Schneider, K. and W.A. Masters, 2019.Orange Fanta versus orange fruit: A novel measure of nutrition knowledge in Malawi. Maternal & Child Nutr., 15(1): e12656.

Masters, W.A., Y. Bai, A. Herforth, D. Sarpong, F. Mishili, J. Kinabo and J.C. Coates, 2018. Measuring the affordability of nutritious diets in Africa: Price indexes for diet diversity and the cost of nutrient adequacy. Am. J. of Ag. Econ., 100(5): 1285-1301.

Masters, W.A., N.Z. Rosenblum and R.G. Alemu, 2018. Agricultural transformation, nutrition transition and food policy in Africa: Preston Curves reveal new stylized facts. J. of Dev. Studies, 54:5, 788-802.

Masters, W.A. et al. for the Global Nutrition and Policy Consortium, 2017. Priority interventions to improve maternal and child diets in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Mat. & Child Nutrition, e12526.

Singh, P. and W.A. Masters, 2017. Impact of caregiver incentives on child health: evidence from an experiment with Anganwadi workers in India, J. of Health Econ., 55(Sept.): 219-231.

Masters, W.A., M. Nene, and W. Bell, 2016.  Nutrient composition of premixed, packaged complementary foods for sale in developing countries: Lack of standards threatens infant growth. Mat. & Child Nutr., 13(4): e12421 [preprint] (NY Times)

Mulmi, P., S.A. Block, G.E. Shively, and W.A. Masters, 2016.  Climatic conditions and child height: Sex-specific vulnerability and the protective effects of sanitation and food markets in Nepal. Econ. & Human Bio., 23 (Dec.): 63-75.

Masters, W.A. et al., 2013. Urbanization and Farm Size in Asia and Africa: Implications for Food Security and Agricultural Research. Global Food Security, 2(3), 156-165. [preprint]

Cason, T., W.A. Masters, and R. Sheremeta, 2010. Entry into Winner-Take-All and Proportional-Prize Contests: An Experimental Study. J. Pub. E., 94(9-10): 604-611.

Humphreys, M., W.A. Masters, and M. Sandbu, 2006. The Role of Leadership in Democratic Deliberations: Results from a Field Experiment in Sao Tome and Príncipe. World Politics  58(4): 583-622.

Masters, W.A. and D. Sanogo, 2002. Welfare Gains from Quality Certification of Infant Foods: Results from a Market Experiment in Mali. Am. J.of Ag. Econ., 84(4): 974-989.

Masters, W.A. and M.S. McMillan, 2001. Climate and Scale in Economic Growth. J. of Econ. Growth, 6(3): 167-186.


Headey, D.D. and W.A. Masters, 2019. Agriculture for Nutrition: Direct and Indirect Effectsch. 2 in Agriculture for Improved Nutrition: Seizing the Momentum, edited by S. Fan, S. Yosef and R. Pandya-Lorch.  CABI and IFPRI.

Byerlee, D., W.A. Masters, and D.S. Robinson, 2017. From Land Grab to Land Development: The Past and Potential of Private Investment in Frontier Agriculture, in Agriculture and Rural Development in a Globalizing World, edited by P. Pingali and G. Feder. Earthscan Food and Agriculture Series.   London: Routledge.

McMillan, M.S., W.A. Masters, and H. Kazianga, 2016. Demographic Pressure and Institutional Change: Village-Level Response to Rural Population Growth in Burkina Faso in African Successes, Volume I: Government and Institutions, edited by S. Edwards, S. Johnson, and D.N. Weil University of Chicago Press and NBER.

Masters, W.A., 2016. Economic Causes of Malnutrition, in M. Eggerdorfer et al., eds., Good Nutrition: Perspectives for the 21st Century, Basel: Karger.

Masters, W.A., 2016. Child Nutrition in Economic Development, in C.P. Duggan, J.B. Watkins, B. Koletzko and W.A. Walker, eds., Nutrition in Pediatrics, 5th ed. PMPH-USA.

Masters, W.A., 2012. Transformational Incentives for Innovation and Aid Effectiveness: Pull Mechanisms, Contests, and Prizes, in R. Shah and S. Radelet, eds., Frontiers in DevelopmentWashington, DC: USAID, pages 196-200.